Oliver + S

Costume Ideas – Mary Poppins

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    Profile photo of MelMel @Mel

    The spring show at the local theatre is Mary Poppins. Yay! It’s one of my favourite shows. It’s on the big stage this year for the 25th anniversary of the theatre school (that’s a big deal as that stage is usually reserved for “professional” groups!). As there aren’t very many speaking roles, the little kids are going to be in the dancing/singing scenes as sweeps and birds.

    I’ve been asked to come up with some ideas for the birds so I thought I’d see if you clever ladies had any suggestions. Here are the criteria:

    – must be easy to produce in multiples (like 30!!)
    – must not require expensive materials
    – no masks
    – easy to put on/take off

    For the headpiece, we’re thinking about something that goes around the head with a beak extending down or out from the forehead but leaves the eyes and face uncovered.

    For the “wings”, some sort of fabric that represents wings maybe that attaches to the neck and wrists.

    Neither can be too fussy as some of the kids are quite small and they will need to dress themselves.

    In terms of colour, they will be pigeons (i.e. grey/black/brown) as there’s a crossover between birds and sweeps. There wont be a complete costume change, just the addition of headpiece/wings.

    Any suggestions welcome! TIA!

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    Profile photo of jay_1965vwjay_1965vw @jay_1965vw

    Ok, this probably won’t be very helpful, but I have to add it! We did a Mary Poppins theme a few years ago when Audrey was about 8 months. I was Mary Poppins, Chris was the chimney sweep, and Audrey was a baby penguin. The hat idea from the penguin could possibly be adapted for your costumes.

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    Profile photo of MelMel @Mel

    oh my goodness, so cute! the hat looks great and would be easier to put on than a headband.

    • This reply was modified 1 year ago by Profile photo of Mel Mel.
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    Profile photo of jay_1965vwjay_1965vw @jay_1965vw

    Very easy to put on, and it’s polar fleece, so no need to finish seams. I folded up the bottom edge and zig-zagged it to hem, but you could even leave it raw. From memory, I made it a bit small, and just slashed it open and zig-zagged an extra triangle of fleece in. Very forgiving fabric, and from the audience no-one would be able to see detail anyway.
    I followed a tutorial though, so here’s the details (I wish I could take the credit!) http://www.makeit-loveit.com/2011/10/halloween-cotsumes-2011-penguin-from-mary-poppins.html

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    Profile photo of NicoleNicole @motherof5

    I had a few ideas but I say’go with the penguins’

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    Profile photo of jay_1965vwjay_1965vw @jay_1965vw

    What on earth were you doing online at that time, Nicole?? Or was it feed time?

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    Profile photo of Liesl GibsonLiesl Gibson
    Keymaster
    @liesl

    That is completely adorable!

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    Profile photo of brenda1652brenda1652 @brenda1652

    one year I had to make about 30 costumes for the kindergarten kids to be blackbirds, (along with numerous donkeys, ladybugs, fireflies, camels, stars, lambs, and angels for the older kids) for the school Christmas show. I made hats similar to the ones shown above in those wonderful pictures and video (just loved looking at those!) and the kiddos wore black long sleeve tees or sweatshirts and black sweat pants, bare feet (we tried yellow socks, too slippery) The wings were pieces of fabric tacked on the top edge to the backs of the arm holes of the tees and went to the wrists, attached to the cuffs. The thin (cheap) black fabric was cut into rectangles and the part that attached at the wrist was cut into a curve at the bottom edge. I remember tacking it at a few more areas going down the sleeves. When they “flew” (and boy did they) it looked close enough to wings. I had workshops for the parents to come and help make the costumes, fun and helpful. Of course there are always some parents who won’t help (excuse:”I work” grrrr. don’t we all)but as a group we got it all done and the kiddos were adorable.That show was 30 yrs ago, great memories. make sure to show us pics of the show. For dress rehearsal, bring safety pins, lots of safety pins, those costumes take a beating

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    Profile photo of needlewomanneedlewoman @needlewoman

    Many decades ago, my school performed Noah’s Flood (B Brittain). With so many different animals, costumes were a problem. Solved by masks that were worn sort’ve on top of our heads (paper mache), and bodies in simple A-line tunics over leotards with long sleeves, and legs. I simply cannot remember what we did for shoes – I know bare feet would not have been allowed, back then. I can’t even remember what animal I was (I think it was a leopard); as a Year 12 student, I was more focussed on the singing, and keeping the younger ones ‘on the note’. When you said birds, I guessed you meant the pigeons around St Paul (one of my very favourite songs) which doesn’t give you much scope for colour, so the tunics might work. Made out of cheap broadcloth, they could even be ‘painted’ with features to suggest wings, etc. Good luck.

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    Profile photo of brenda1652brenda1652 @brenda1652

    I was remembering the various costumes and it came to me that we used very inexpensive craft felt for the hats and a pattern very similar to the hood in LTTS for many of them over the years. The thing we liked was that we didn’t have to worry about a close fit and no worries about them falling off since they had ties. The hood pattern could work for your birds and penguins as well, just add the beaks and eyes on the front top. We had hoods for donkeys, bunnies, lambs, birds, butterflies, and the fireflies. the ears or antennas had craft wire in them to stand or bend or whatever. I know craft felt by the yard is less expensive then many other options for costume hoods.

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    Profile photo of NicoleNicole @motherof5

    Yes, up feeding Jay.
    I just though of you, we just passed a beautifully restored 1950 Holden sedan on the highway

    I found the wings in the dress up box Mel, they have elastic at the underarms elbow and wrist
    I will take a piccie got you
    I still think the penguin look the best

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    Profile photo of jay_1965vwjay_1965vw @jay_1965vw

    Awwww, nice to think I’m having an effect even from the US 🙂

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    Profile photo of MelMel @Mel

    thanks for the suggestions. The kids are going to be asked to wear dark coloured long sleeve shirts and pants and black shoes so thankfully we don’t have to worry about dressing their bodies or feet.

    I think I’ll do a mock up of the fleece hat to see if the director likes it (thanks for the link @jay_1965vw!). I think they would be quick to sew.

    The cozy winter hood in felt would work, too. I’ve made that a few times myself (most recently 10 or 12 times in the fall for the mice in the nutcracker!). The felt at my local shop is so flimsy, though, I’d worry about them making it through the 4 shows intact.

    I’d love to see a picture of your wings @nicole. All of the birds are also sweeps so will have to do a costume change. There might not be enough hands backstage to help everyone pin so elastics sound like the best option. I’m thinking something floated like chiffon would work and the dance is fairly mellow and fluttery.

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